Grinding the Stream: Extra Secret YouTube Edition (2 of 2)
Updated: May 11
Welcome back for the for-real final entry in the Grinding the Stream database. Or, like I said the other day, at least the final entry for this spring's social distancing spree. I'm not sure this isn't going to become a seasonal thing yet – either for the fun of it or because we have to quarantine again. Anyway, I ran out of official streaming stuff to talk about about, so I've come up with a list of great cult movies that are available to stream on YouTube.
Obviously, most of these have been unofficially uploaded, so the quality is all over the place. There also might be unresolved legal issues that mean the videos are hit with copyright strikes and gone from YouTube before this even goes live. With that in mind, I will try to remember to delete entries as realistic, legal alternatives arise. I'm not holding my breath for most of these, though.
Footprints (Italian: Le Orme; aka: Footprints on the Moon; Luigi Bazzoni and Mario Fanelli [uncredited], 1975)
Now that Giulio Questi’s Death Laid an Egg (Italian: La morte ha fatto l'uovo, 1968) has seen multiple Blu-ray and streaming releases (noting that the UK BD from Nucleus Films is the only way to see that film entirely uncut), Luigi Bazzoni and Mario Fanelli’s dreamy and paranoid Footprints is (arguably) the last giallo classic begging for wider acknowledgment. In the UK, Shameless Screen Entertainment released an affordable DVD, but it’s not available to most in the states. The Koch Blu-ray from Germany is also essentially a DVD transfer, so, until someone scores the rights and remasters it, check out this so-called hidden gem.
The House with Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976)
Multi-genre veteran Avati’s one true giallo isn’t as rarely seen as Footprints, but it’s still hard to find and surely one of the genre’s final masterpieces, before disappearing in favor of straight horror and the eventual death throes of Italian exploitation. It’s also one of a handful of great gialli that I think plays for arthouse enthusiasts that otherwise don’t enjoy violent thrillers. The Image Entertainment DVD has been OOP, but, if you happen to have multi-region capabilities, Shameless again has an affordable DVD available to import.
More American Horror and Exploitation
Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer, 1965)
I can’t remember the specifics, but Russ Meyer’s movies remain only officially available in the US via the RM Films International website, where they are not cheap. It’s a shame. Kind souls continue uploading the quintessential Meyer movie, Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!, to YouTube, though. In HD, no less.
I Miss You Hugs and Kisses (Murray Markowitz, 1978)
This mix of made-for-TV trash and R-rated violence is mostly remembered as one of the entries on the British Video Recordings Act 1984’s list of banned films, otherwise known as the “Video Nasties.” Honestly, it might be too inept for any but Video Nasty completists to enjoy, but I find its goofball qualities quite entertaining.
The Black Room (Elly Kenner and Norman Thaddeus Vane, 1982)
I don’t know why The Black Room hasn’t had an official home video release since the VHS days, but this thoughtful, strange, and incredibly ambitious mega-low-budget feature is well worth a YouTube peak. Fans of particularly melodramatic, metaphor-heavy vampire movies should definitely check it out, despite the lacking video quality.
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (aka: Nightwish; William Asher, 1982)
This violent psycho-thriller is mostly notable for being another Video Nasty, but it’s also much better than the majority of readily available Nasties. Assuming you don’t have hundreds of dollars to drop on the OOP Code Red Blu-ray, check out this half decent VHS rip.
Hunter’s Blood (Robert C. Hughes, 1986)
Rip-offs of Ridley Scott’s Alien are my favorite ultra-specific subgenre, but the small number of movies made to cash-in on John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972) are also high on that list. Peter Carter’s Rituals (aka: The Creeper, 1977) is currently streaming on Fandor and Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort (a film I actually prefer to Deliverance, 1981) is easily found across many platforms, but Robert C. Hughes’ splattery Hunter’s Blood also deserves some recognition. I can’t find George Bloom’s Brothers in Arms (1988) right now, but keep an eye out for that one too.